Tiffany L. Thomas

in the caves of Megiddo, Alabama

                      my father, the martyr,
                      still lives in a boyhood kitchen—

                      where rice, across the floor,
                      carves hatch marks
                      upon his knees

                      where sweat
                      betrays the line of his spine
—perfect and upright

The Merchant Mariner’s Wife

after my grandfather died, in my childhood bedroom,
we began pulling up the floors

             the exacting absent sailor
             the patient dutiful dyke

board by board,
we have broken the same woman’s heart


/won’t you give me leave to trespass upon
the waters of the womb, to thieve among
my blood, to embrace its early blows and eat
its unclean fruits/I will hold the pulp on my
tongue with the mourning bread and bathe
the bedding to indefinite evening/won’t you
render me your cultic abomination, to take
up their weight with loathsome hands, and
restore their dreams to taste of hyssop/I
have seen your face in flames where the
flowers hang white and heavy and the dates
are first are golden and the leaves have the
look of corpses/oh give me the smell of our
mother’s burning hair and her unnatural
relief upon the floor/I will drink the salt of
them/I will swallow these disgusting pagan
things/I will bury them where purgatory
makes its home in the bones of the soul/

Author Portrait

Tiffany L. Thomas is a poet from lower Alabama, living and studying in Alaska's interior. Her recent poetry can be found at Blinders Journal, Menacing Hedge, and Limehawk Press. She is a recipient of the Richard S. Lynch Poetry Award and the Catholic Poetry Society Award.

View the website of Tiffany L. Thomas